Japan suicides rise as economic impact of coronavirus hits home

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

The number of suicides in Japan rose in October for the fourth month in a row to the highest level in more than five years, data showed Tuesday, a trend activists have blamed on the economic impact of the coronavirus, on women in particular. […] According to preliminary police data, the total number of suicides for October was 2,153, an increase of more than 300 from the previous month and the highest monthly tally since May 2015.

About 70 people every day. Mind you, these are the known cases. Some people are not discovered for months.

Through the ages in Japan, suicide has been seen as a way to avoid shame or dishonor.

That’s not the driving force behind a lot of the suicides lately. People are raised to “not be a burden unto others”. Asking for help from friends and family is perceived as being a burden. For many people, this would be worse than death. Once you are independent, you are expected to remain as such.

For many years getting psychological help was stigmatized, and Japan has the grim distinction of the highest suicide rate among G7 countries.

It is still stigmatized. Seeing a psychologist is a “sign of weakness” and “poor upbringing”, as it means you don’t have it all figured out just yet … which I agree is absurd.